The father of murdered student Meredith Kercher has been killed in a suspected hit-and-run outside his Croydon home.
John Kercher was found suffering injuries including a broken arm and broken leg after the incident on 13 January. The 77-year-old was taken to hospital, where he died on 1 February.
Police are calling the writer and journalist’s death “unexplained” and believe he may have been involved in a collision.
In a statement to the Sun, Kercher’s family said: “We loved him dearly and he is going to be very sorely missed.”
Detective Sergeant Steve Andrews, of the Met’s South Area Command Unit, is investigating. He said: “We are currently treating the death of this man as unexplained and our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.
“Despite thorough enquiries made so far, including speaking to witnesses and examining potential CCTV opportunities, we’ve not as yet been able to establish how the man came to sustain his injuries which included a broken arm and broken leg.
“We are keeping an open mind as to the circumstances of his death, including whether he may have been involved in a collision.
“Please make the call to us, or anonymously via Crimestoppers if you can help us determine what happened.”
Anyone who was in the Windmill Road area at around 7.30pm on Monday, 13 January and can help provide information that could assist officers is asked to contact police on 101 and quote Cad 6441/13Jan.
Alternatively, stay anonymous by contacting the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Mr Kercher’s daughter was 21 when she was found violently murdered on 2 November 2007 in her bedroom in Perugia, Italy, where she was studying on an exchange programme.
Her throat had been slit and her semi-naked body was partially covered by a duvet.
American student Amanda Knox, also studying in the town, was sentenced to 26 years’ imprisonment and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito to 25, but both strenuously protested their innocence from behind bars and were acquitted on appeal in October 2011.
They were convicted again in 2014 in Florence after the Cassation court overturned the acquittals, and ordered a new appeals trial, which overturned their convictions once and for all.
Ivory Coast-born drifter and small-time drug dealer Rudy Guede was also jailed for the murder after being prosecuted in a separate, fast-track trial and remains in prison.
Kercher wrote a book entitled Meredith: Our Daughter’s Murder And The Heartbreaking Quest For The Truth, because it seemed that his daughter was “all but forgotten” with the spotlight focused relentlessly on Knox and her high-profile court battle.
In it he described being unable to view his daughter’s body in an Italian morgue, fearful he would lose his “laughing and happy” final memory of her.